Democrats in Practice or Name Only?

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With the 2020 primary voting season in full swing, progressives have found ourselves in a unique position of condemning the actions of not only the usual, right-wing, Republican suspects, but individuals running as Democrats as well. You may have seen the Santa Fe New Mexican article about the No Corporate Democrats PAC or our blog about a racist Bernalillo County Commission race mailer. This time, we’re bringing you information on a candidate for House District 50, Rebecca “Becky” King Spindle, who is running as a “Democrat” against incumbent Matthew McQueen.    

Rebecca “Becky” King Spindle is the granddaughter of the late Bruce King, who served as a Democratic Governor for New Mexico for 12 years. With this family history, one would assume it safe to believe King Spindle upholds democratic beliefs as she runs for House District 50 as a Democrat. After doing some research, we are not so sure. Is King Spindle truly a Democrat, or is she a Democrat in name only?

Let’s start at the beginning. The picture shown below features King Spindle as part of the RISE New Mexico leadership program, a training program for conservative women, spearheaded by Republican Representative, Kelly Fajardo. Jill Michel, a Republican running for House District 27, is also shown in the photo as a fellow class member. We can’t help but wonder what a Democrat was doing in a class with and for Republican women. 

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Let’s break it down piece by piece.  

Who are these players? 

RISE New Mexico: While RISE NM doesn’t outright say they are a Republican training program, it states on the homepage of their website that their vision is, “To inspire, educate, and activate pro-business conservative women.” Their Twitter Page features partnerships with groups like VA Conservative Women’s Coalition to train their class participants, including King Spindle.  Additionally, in this article published by The Santa Fe New Mexican in November 2018, Fajardo makes it very clear that this program is meant to compete with the extremely successful, Emerge New Mexico program that trains Democratic women how to run for office, and win. 

Kelly Fajardo: RISE NM was founded by a Republican House Representative District 7, Kelly Fajardo. Not only is Fajardo involved in state politics as a Republican, she was also recently appointed as a co-chair for The Republican State Leadership Committee’s Right Women, Right Now initiative whose mission is, “identify, recruit, train, and support female candidates in the states in order to help elect more Republican leaders…”  While Fajardo’s policy work at the state level is unremarkable, she sure does a lot of recruitment and training of conservative, Republican candidates. It seems as if any self-respecting Democrat would stay far away from this program, so why is King Spindle in the RISE NM class?

Why does this all matter? 

Rise New Mexico is a veiled attempt to be a “non-partisan” organization.  While someone with a good eye for marketing obviously created RISE NM’s tagline (leaving out the word “Republican”) this lack of transparency further drives home the point that RISE NM is a deceptive organization that isn’t even truthful about training republicans.  When reviewing the information presented that Fajardo recruits conservative Republicans to run for office and that King Spindle was part of the Fajardo founded RISE NM class, we are left with no other conclusion than King Spindle and Republican Fajardo share ideology in the least, and perhaps a more deceptive plan at the worst.  

We were fortunate to have the right representation at a state level in 2018 as a defense against the unrelenting damage the Trump administration continues to wreak on our nation. As we enter the 2020 general election, amidst a Global pandemic fraught with disinformation and likely more election interference, it’s absolutely critical that we elect individuals that will represent progressive ideals.  King Spindle’s participation in a conservative training program with other Republican candidates and founded and run by a Republican Representative doesn’t instill in us confidence that she will uphold progressive values that we hold so dear.  

What’s that old saying? Something along the lines of, “you are who you hang around with?”  Becky King Spindle sure is around A LOT of Republicans.